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School unity to skip election

Suri, April 11: Political parties in a Birbhum pocket have unanimously selected six guardians for as many seats in a school managing committee, the move aimed at avoiding electoral face-offs at a time violence has dogged school polls in the district.

The decision by the Trinamul Congress, CPM and the Congress to come to a consensus has turned the managing committee elections due on April 21 into a formality.

As six candidates have already been selected for the six seats, there will be no contests in the poll. But the school has to conduct the election in keeping with the district rules that demand that such polls be held every three years.

The last election was held in 2010.

The initiative has been appreciated by guardians and the authorities of Rajgram SRR Girls’ High School. “We are happy the school managing committee will be formed without any election. There will be no scope for violence. It has been decided that the school will be free from politics,” headmistress Hasinatul Ferdous said.

Apart from the six guardians’ representatives who are usually elected, there are six nominated posts in the committee. Those nominated are the headmistress, three teachers, a member of the non-teaching staff and a nominee from the local panchayat samiti.

The girls’ school in Rajgram has 1,500 students from 18 villages. The Congress had won the last managing committee polls in 2010.

Asked about the decision to avoid electoral contests, Sirajul Islam Khan, the Congress secretary of the school managing committee, said: “On Sunday, a meeting was held between local leaders of Trinamul, the Congress and the CPM. We discussed several issues, such as violence in school elections. After two hours, we decided to select, not elect, the six guardians’ representatives.”

Local leaders of the three parties said they took the decision to select the representatives to avoid clashes during the polls.

Several schools in Birbhum have witnessed violence during polls in the past few years.

In September 2011, CPM and Trinamul workers in Nanoor clashed during the filing of nominations at Baro Simulia High School. Two persons were injured when bombs were hurled and police had to resort to lathicharge.

In February 2010, the police had to fire in the air to disperse CPM and Trinamul workers clashing during the committee polls at Abinashpur High School. Eight persons, including two policemen, suffered injuries.